Touched By Fire cover

Review: Touched By Fire

Touched By Fire by Irene N. Watts

Touched By Fire coverHistorical fiction
Published September, 2013 by Tundra Books
Hardcover, 206 pages

This is the story of a young woman named Miriam Markovitz, whose family lived in Russia in the early part of the last century. Wanting to escape the horrible conditions under which they lived and the persecutions of the Jews, they moved to Germany and then to America.

I enjoyed the story and especially the fact that it told the tale of so many immigrants. It didn’t go into any details of the pogroms or anti-Semitism in Europe, but there are plenty of other places to find that. What it did tell was about the waiting, working, and separation of families for years in order to live a better life elsewhere. That is the basis of so many of our lives now, and a large part of the history of our country.

The book is written for young people and the writing is simple and clear. I would have liked a little more depth from Miriam’s character, but otherwise the book includes interesting and authentic people.

Although the cover and the back blurb make it seem as if the story is based on the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, that is only a single incident in this story and occurs at the end. The real story is the emigration of Miriam and her family, and specifically her adjustment to her new places and friends.

Recommended for fans of historical fiction, especial YA.

The publisher sent a free copy of this book for a fair review. I will now be passing it on to other readers through my book club.
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